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So, back in October last year, Google and Yahoo threw the whole world of B2B outreach into a tizzy when they released some spectacularly unhelpful guidance on the new policies they were planning to put into place to combat spam in Feb 2024.

Anyone sending emails generating a higher than 0.3% complaint rate (that’s 3 in every thousand!) would forever have their company emails blocked, and your business would go bankrupt within weeks.

Well, thankfully, they have since re-qualified their guidance, and whilst it’s not as scary as everyone first thought (thanks for that Google!), but there are still some MAJOR implications for brands that send out bulk emails, so to dampen the fires, and explain exactly what is happening, and what you should be doing about it, we turned to our founder and CEO, Andrew Nicholson, to explain the implications for B2B marketers.

Google Feb 2024 Spam/deliverability update summarised for sales

If you and your company are sending campaigns out to business addresses ONLY, then you are not affected by this update.  This update ONLY applies to companies that are sending to personal email addresses that end in @Gmail.com, or @yahoo.com (and variations thereof)

If your company does send email to personal email addresses that end in @Gmail.com, or @yahoo.com, but doesn’t ever send more than 5k emails over a 24 hour period, then equally, you have dodged a bullet.

” A bulk sender is any email sender that sends close to 5,000 messages or more to personal Gmail accounts within a 24-hour period. Messages sent from the same primary domain count toward the 5,000 limit.

 

Sending domains: When we calculate the 5,000-message limit, we count all messages sent from the same primary domain. For example, every day you send 2,500 messages from solarmora.com and 2,500 messages from promotions.solarmora.com to personal Gmail accounts. You’re considered a bulk sender because all 5,000 messages were sent from the same primary domain: solarmora.com. Learn about domain name basics.

 

Senders who meet the above criteria at least once are permanently considered bulk senders.”

But if someone in your company IS sending bulk emails through your company domain OR a subdomain that uses your company’s primary email domain, then you will be considered a bulk sender and the new rules ARE applicable to you.

Bulk sending status is applied at primary domain level, and is FOREVER!

“Bulk sender status doesn’t have an expiration date. Email senders that have been classified as bulk senders are permanently classified as such. Changes in email sending practices will not affect permanent bulk sender status once it’s assigned.”

So, if your domain is categorised as a bulk sender, what do you need to do?

This is where all the real rules start to kick in.

  • You MUST have SPF, DKIM and DMARC verification set up on your DNS, and if able, we also recommend im-plementing BIMI.  Even if you’re not flagged as a bulk sender, this is a no brainer.

  • You MUST have one-click unsubscribe set up on Marketing messages and subscribed messages. This is different to your stand unsubscribe link that appears in your email footer and is implemented at header level. It applies to all marketing and subscribed emails, including transactional emails.  It doesn’t apply to your one to one, every day emails. Yet!

  • You MUST maintain a lower than 0.3% complaint rate.  If you consistently go over this limit, your emails will start to be blocked.  This is terminal, so set up Google Post Master Tools ASAP, and check where you stand.

When does all this need to be in place?

Google tell us that:

Enforcement for bulk senders that don’t meet our Email sender guidelines will be gradual and progressive.

 

In February 2024, bulk senders who don’t meet sender requirements will start getting temporary errors (with error codes) on a small percentage of their non-compliant email traffic. These temporary errors are meant to help senders identify email traffic that doesn’t meet our guidelines so that senders can resolve issues that result in non-compliance.

 

In April 2024, we’ll start rejecting a percentage of non-compliant email traffic, and we’ll gradually increase the rejection rate. For example, if 75% of a sender’s traffic meets our requirements, we’ll start rejecting a percentage of the remaining 25% of traffic that isn’t compliant.

 

Bulk senders have until June 1, 2024 to implement one-click unsubscribe in all commercial, promotional messages.

 Short story, get your house in order TODAY, and speak to your marketing department immediately.

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